Reviews, News, & Interviews

Women Rocking Hollywood Panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2019

By Leslie Combemale | August 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

There have been positive developments in the last year for women in television and film. Initiatives like the 4% challenge are making news, movies and tv identified as gender-balanced are getting ReFrame stamps, and companies like OWN, Annapurna, Netflix, & Sundance continue to expand opportunities for intersectional women, supporting great content in the process. Changes …

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The Queen: AWFJ review of a documentary essential to queer history

By Leslie Combemale | June 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

So proud to have posted this review of documentary The Queen on the anniversary of Stonewall. It is absolutely required viewing for those interested in both queer history and film history. See the trailer here: “Before queer was cool, or even fully legal, first-time director Frank Simon created The Queen, a 1968 groundbreaking documentary chronicling one …

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Mouthpiece AWFJ review

By Leslie Combemale | June 7, 2019 | 0 Comments

Even as an adult, there is never a good time to lose a parent. More challenging is losing a mother unexpectedly on the heels of a falling out. This experience is the basis for the new film Mouthpiece, which is based on a Canadian two-woman show of the same name, starring the two actresses, Amy …

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Late Night: Great Broad-cast News

By Leslie Combemale | June 7, 2019 | 0 Comments

More a strongly femme Broadcast News and less The Devil Wears Prada, new comedy Late Night offers a look at the challenges of working on a comedy talk show while female, and to hilarious effect. Written by Mindy Kaling, directed by Nisha Ganatra, and starring Kaling and Patron Saint of Smart Women in Film Emma …

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Booksmart: Funny, Fearless, and Feminist AF

By Leslie Combemale | May 23, 2019 | 0 Comments

Olivia Wilde is proving to be the blueprint for successfully segueing from acting into directing with the buzzy new coming-of-age comedy Booksmart, releasing wide this weekend through patron saint indie studio to female filmmakers, Annapurna. If any film should bring the indie studio solidly into the black, this hilarious, heartfelt celebration of feminist teenage badassery …

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Tell it to the Bees: AWFJ review

By Leslie Combemale | May 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

Tell it to the Bees, an independent British drama released in 2018, is finally having its release in American art house cinemas, though it reaches theaters in the UK in June. The film is adapted by director Annabel Jankel (co-creator of Max Headroom) from the novel of the same name by Fiona Shaw (the writer, …

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Wine Country: Raise a glass to these funny women in film

By Leslie Combemale | May 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

In a world where we are so busy that Facebook has become a poor stand-in for quality time with those we are close to, the new gal pal comedy Wine Country pours itself into our cinema-loving lives like a light-bodied, approachable chardonnay after a bad day at work. A feature directorial debut for Amy Poehler, …

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Knock Down the House Review: An Inspirational Documentary for Irrational Times

By Leslie Combemale | May 2, 2019 | 0 Comments

The new documentary Knock Down the House is the sort of inspiring, invigorating film that will remind those in the existential funk created by all things Trump-related that there is hope. In this film, hope comes largely in the form of four working women, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Vilela, Cori Bush, and Paula Jean Swearengin, all …

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Rafiki Film Review by Cinema Siren for AWFJ.org

By Leslie Combemale | April 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

This captivating coming-of-age love story affirms Wanuri Kahiu as a filmmaker to watch. In 2018, filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu discovered her film Rafiki was going to premiere at Cannes Film Festival, a first for Kenya. Meanwhile, in her own country, where anyone found engaging in same-sex sexual activities can face up to 14 years in prison, …

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Little: These Actresses Bring the Fabulous to a Flawed Film

By Leslie Combemale | April 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

Frustrating pacing nearly derails superior performances and great co-star chemistry in the new film Little, a sweet confection still great for a night out with your gal pals. Though it proves itself uneven, it is also a nice reminder to stay anchored to your true self. Comedies celebrating black girl magic are all too rare. …

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